What is social selling?
We had an amazing opportunity to interview social selling concept founder, Tom Skotidas, who shared his priceless tips, tricks and techniques of leveraging social space, increasing sales and developing stronger business relationships.
Social selling is a process of social marketing through sales enablement, says Tom. He emphasised that social sellers (sponsoring organisation, for example) should be focusing on enabling their sales representatives to connect on social networks, influencing potential prospects, generating meetings, leads and, of course, sales.
How to apply social selling to a conference sponsorship?
Tom introduced air cover support, which is known as a brand-building tool for social sellers while they are attending the event. He explained that social selling enables credentialing for account managers who want to connect more effectively and contextually with delegates. Social selling creates suitable context allowing natural connections and stronger relationships.
Tom explained that social sellers should think about their strategy before, during an after an event.
- Before the event, it is all about leveraging the sponsorship opportunities your brand is experiencing to reach out to delegates and exhibitors. Tom suggested sharing content and announcements with the event attendance, connecting with them (and as many attendees as possible) before the event and of course following up after. Sharing content straight after connecting with attendees online will start building your authority in the industry. This will enable the familiarity with your name and your brand creating the context for the future connection in person.
- During the event, it is all about connecting on LinkedIn and Twitter with attendees at the event and sharing the speakers’ content which becomes incredibly relevant on the day and often, well shared, as a result. Incorporate your own content while sharing the event’s agenda information. Connecting during the event will also allow you to gain crucial feedback from the attendees perfecting your strategies.
- After an event, it is all about ‘sealing the deal’. In other words, thank your connections for meeting with you at the event, invite them to meet with you for a coffee in person, praise their work and share their content.
How do you Measure the effectiveness of social selling?
Tom shared his strategy explaining that his approach is manual but efficient.
- First of all, make a list of attendees and connect with them through LinkedIn. Make a note of the number of our connections. Start sharing content around topics, share the speakers content your own. Track any clicks you get from that. There are a few tools out there to help you tracking such as Google Analytics or a link shortening device, bitly.
- During the event, reach out to the attendees you’ve connected with earlier. While doing so, keep checking your initial list comparing it with people you connected with earlier and the list of people you met during the event.
- After the event, follow up with people and take them offline (for a coffee or a meeting) converting your connections into proposals. Keep the track of the numbers as you go through the stages. You will eventually extract the final number of people converted entering them into the pipeline which you can add into your CRM.
At the end of this process you will be able to attributer your proposal value to the initial connection.
What are the benefits of social selling for sponsors?
Tom encourages thinking of sponsorship as air cover and brand building tool, which allows sponsorship organisations’ representatives to reach out to prospects contextually. Sponsorship is sales enablement, which allows connection expenditure, content sharing and the pipeline creation if they follow the outlined earlier social selling techniques.
Sponsorship provides invaluable opportunity to have a story when reaching out. As long as it is contextual, respectful and personalised, you can approach people with your requests easier and more natural through social selling. Tom also suggests following potential prospects, attendees and/or speakers on Twitter as it triggers their follow back amplifying the outcomes.
Here, at Criterion Conferences, we value the power of the digital space. However we are constantly learning and improving. Bringing the best knowledge and the finest expertise under one.